30 July 2020

From the Principal

Article by Mr Michael Exton

From the Principal

Feast Day of St. Ignatius of Loyola

Tomorrow, July 31, is a special day for our College each year – the Feast Day of our patron saint, St. Ignatius. St. Ignatius was born in Spain (1491) and died in Rome on July 31, 1556.

With a small group of friends, St. Ignatius founded the Society of Jesus or the Jesuits. His book, the “Spiritual Exercises”, is one of the most influential books written on spiritual life. Currently, there are about 16,000 Jesuits worldwide who are involved in a variety of ministries and are very well known for their involvement in education. Jesuits dedicate themselves to “Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam,” or the “greater glory of God” and the good of all humanity. They do this in grateful collaboration with others who share their values, including laypeople who are part of the extended Jesuit family. Our College is gratefully part of this ‘family’ as a “Jesuit Companion School.” Previously our College was known as a “Jesuit Partner School.” As a result of our latest Statement of Agreement with the Jesuits, we will use this new description.

Usually, tomorrow would be a very special day of celebration for the students and staff. With the current situation as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, we will not be able to conduct the usual activities. We will run normal classes and include time for an online school assembly. This 30-minute online assembly will provide the opportunity to mark this special day for us.

We are looking at, if the COVID-19 situation improves enough, to hold some special activities on a day to be decided in September and celebrate this as a “Community Spirit” Day. I will keep you informed about this. We had intended, with the other Geelong Catholic Colleges, to participate in the “TRIumph” event in September but this was cancelled. So, if it can go ahead, the “Community Spirit” Day will provide a substitute opportunity for a fun and community building day for students and staff.

Masks – mandatory from next Monday

Today, the Victorian Government announced that face coverings would be mandatory across regional Victoria from 11:59 pm on Sunday 2 August 2020 when people leave home.

Face coverings will be mandatory for people aged 12 and over. These measures will slow the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and help protect our school community. Therefore, all secondary school students will need to wear a face covering, including when travelling to and from school. Parents will need to please ensure that their daughter or son has their own mask each day from Monday.

Parents and carers will be required to wear face coverings whenever they leave the house, including for school drop-off and pick-up.

Students or staff who have a medical condition – including problems with their breathing, a serious skin condition on the face, a disability or a mental health condition – are not required to wear a face covering. Parents, please provide a note to the Homeroom Teacher if this is the case for your daughter or son.

The Department of Health and Human Services website has advice about face coverings, including:

• which different types can be used

• how to make your own

• how to safely wear one

• how to safely remove it.

Thank you for your support in limiting the spread of COVID-19 and keeping our school community safe.

Peninsula Drive Traffic and Parking

Further to my previous newsletter articles and the email message to parents last week, the local Police have informed me that they will be monitoring traffic movement and parking along Peninsula Drive. To help alleviate congestion, could I please ask parents who drop-off or pick-up students to consider using the following alternatives:

• Andersons Rd (now McKiernan St), with pedestrian/cyclist access under the Drysdale Bypass.

• Reserve Rd, with pedestrian/cyclist access via the walking track.

• Drysdale Railway station, with pedestrian/cyclist access via the walking track.

• Gillies Rd, with pedestrian/cyclist access to the rear of the schools.”

I understand that more parents may be driving their daughter or son to and from school due to the Coronavirus situation, and this may be contributing to the present traffic and parking congestion issues. Can I please ask you to consider using one of the four alternatives above instead of using Peninsula Drive? We need to work together to ensure that everyone gets a fair go, and that traffic can flow at all times in Peninsula Drive. The congestion along Peninsula Drive is only for a short period, so if you must use this way, please exercise patience and follow the road rules.

Semester 1 Statement of Results

Statements for Years 11 & 12 are now available again. Parents will receive an email message to inform them when Statements for Years 7 – 10 will be available.

Thank you for patience and support while the problems with some of the results were rectified. If you think a result is not correct, please email the subject teacher to query this. Thank you again for your understanding of the challenge around changing to a new system.

Annual Report 2019

Due to the impact of the Coronavirus on schools, the due date for the Annual Report for the previous year was delayed. I am pleased to inform you that the College’s Annual Report (2019) is available on the College’s website.

Student Leadership @ Saint Ignatius

It is important to me that our College culture is characterised by high-quality student leadership based on service. I want this so that we have the best learning environment for our school community and that we ultimately better form young women and men of competence, conscience and compassion who will be women and men for others.

I was very pleased to be informed by our Student Leadership Development Coordinator, Mr Anthony Gravener, that at closing on Tuesday afternoon, he had received 92 applications from students for one or more of the many different positions available. I commend all students who put themselves forward – well done!

One of our College mantras is – “St Ignatius – inspiring me to be a leader.” Saint Ignatius, the person, provides a role model of and a way of leadership and Saint Ignatius, our College, offers opportunities to develop our young women and men as leaders.

At Saint Ignatius College Geelong, the development of life-long leadership skills is one of the learning opportunities offered to all students. Students are expected to develop their leadership qualities and skills. The quality of this leadership is vital to creating a school environment:

• where students demonstrate pride in and loyalty to their College;

• that is conducive to and enhances student involvement and achievement; and

• that ultimately leads to our College vision of forming women and men for others.

As well as having active students in formal leadership positions, having as many students as possible demonstrating positive and constructive leadership in their day to day interactions and work practices supports the development of responsible behaviours, a positive school tone and encourages students to model the College’s values of respect, responsibility, resilience, service and excellence.

Michael Exton  Principal